Influence of Age on the Prevalence of Gill Parasites and Associated Lesions in Cultured African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus) in Sokoto, Nigeria
The study evaluates the influence of age on the prevalence of gill parasites and associated lesions in cultured Catfish (Clarias gariepinus). A total of ninety (90) live fishes were collected, euthanized and the gill samples were obtained for parasitological and histopathological examinations. The samples for histopathology were placed and fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin solution, while wet mount method was used for parasitological examination. Fish samples were grouped into three age-based groups: 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months. The results showed 22 fish (24.4%) were positive for the presence of parasite among fish of 6-months-old; 25 fish (27.8%) were positive among fish of 4 months and 29 fish (32.3%) were positive for fish of 2 months. Histopathological changes observed include gill filament thickening, inflammatory cellular infiltration, hyaline degeneration, hemorrhage, and vascular congestion. Data were analysed to compare changes using appropriate statistical tool. It was observed that age has an influence in the prevalence of gill parasites and associated lesions. Gill parasites and associated lesions tend to be lower in younger fish than in older fishes where the prevalence was very high. It can be concluded that the older fish tends to be more prone to gill parasites as well as associated lesions than the younger fish. If these fishes are highly infested, it will retard their growth, health as well as productivity.
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